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LixiPixi
21-09-2006, 12:32
I'd love to offer up this card to start off our study group if nobody objects?!

This card is so different from any of the others that I have. I'm having a hard time depicting it as anything other than representing the guardian angel for animals and that's something I'm gathering from the book.

I'd be anxious to hear how others view this one in particular.

LP~

Astraea Aurora
22-09-2006, 02:26
Hi all Llewellyn lovers out there

tough card to start with, but since I own this lovely deck, too, I will tell you about how I see the Horned One.

Every time I see the devil card it reminds me of that old story about Luzifel, Godīs most loved angel who fell from favour and became Luzifer or the Christian Satan. And this is closely related to the fact that most (not all!) Wiccans see the Goddess as the One and her companion as a minor fact. It makes me sad ... often I watch myself misunderstanding him, too. I see the Horned One as playing several roles (like the Goddesss): he's son, father and wise man, he's warrior and caretaker, he's a lover and the Lady's companion, he watches over nature and all animals, he's our father (like the Lady is our mother), he rules manhood and he rules the sun and its daylight kingdom. He means different things to me, although I often forget him.

I must admit I haven't read the Welsh story behind the Horned One, since he hasn't shown up in my studies yet ... but I will ... there's time enough till December 1 when my 78 days end.

What I find most amazing about that kind of Tarot's 15 is that he isn't portrayed as doing anything evil to mankind. He doens't tie up women and men, he doesn't live in a hot and red hell ... he just sits quietly in the woods, a small camp fire beneath him and a wolf accompanying him. Yes, he can be dangerous towards other creatures, but only to defend himself I guess. He's the ruler of the woods and all creatures living in there and he has the right to be wild.

To relate him to the devil's traditional meanings of seduction and deception is hard for me, very hard. This card doesn't appear like that.

Blessings, Astraea Aurora

manhattan9thgate
22-09-2006, 03:27
it's about time someone corrected that gross misconception (perpetrated by you-know-who) of the "Horned One" don't you think.
I revel in it.
as tarot decks go, it's one of the finest both artistically and conceptually.

in fact I think people will have to switch between the Llewellyn and other decks using the tradition Devil image, depending on their mood and the type of reading they want.
the energy of the Llewellyn is different from other decks and the Horned One underscores that diffference.

Dwaas
22-09-2006, 08:25
Great perspectives. Astraea Aurora, have you seen the stag on the card as well? It is a bit late now so I will add to this thread more by tomorrow.

sunflowr
22-09-2006, 10:20
This is probably my least favorite card in the deck, because I dont see anything "evil" here, so it's hard to read it as such. He loves animals, he's on his own.. he's more like the Hermit. Or "High Priest" (as he is in the Druidcraft, am I right?).

So, very confusing. How am I going to know, when I do a reading and he shows up, that this represents bondage, addictions, obsessions, etc??

manhattan9thgate
22-09-2006, 10:59
This is probably my least favorite card in the deck, because I dont see anything "evil" here, so it's hard to read it as such. He loves animals, he's on his own.. he's more like the Hermit. Or "High Priest" (as he is in the Druidcraft, am I right?).

So, very confusing. How am I going to know, when I do a reading and he shows up, that this represents bondage, addictions, obsessions, etc??

he doesn't represent those things.

if you want that kind of reading use another deck with a typical Devil card.

manhattan9thgate
22-09-2006, 11:22
I'd love to offer up this card to start off our study group if nobody objects?!

This card is so different from any of the others that I have. I'm having a hard time depicting it as anything other than representing the guardian angel for animals and that's something I'm gathering from the book.

I'd be anxious to hear how others view this one in particular.

LP~

please don't take this as a insult or misogynistic but it occured to me that some people here are having a block relating to this card because it's a very powerful male symbol (and you are a woman with your focus on The Goddess).......it's too simplistic IMHO to say that he's simply a guardian angel for animals.
Astrea Aurora really got that down, but I'm also not surprised to see that she says "........although I often forget him".

but I do disagree with her commment that he can be a danger to others only in sef-defense.......I will take back part of what I said before........he can certainly represent excess......acting according to base-primordial instincts......but there's a difference between the Horned One in this light and the Judeo Christian concept of him as a evil fallen angel.....acting conciously in a wanton and destructive manner to supress and subjigate the higher self.

Dwaas
23-09-2006, 03:09
This is probably my least favorite card in the deck, because I dont see anything "evil" here, so it's hard to read it as such. He loves animals, he's on his own.. he's more like the Hermit. Or "High Priest" (as he is in the Druidcraft, am I right?).

So, very confusing. How am I going to know, when I do a reading and he shows up, that this represents bondage, addictions, obsessions, etc??

He lacks civilization. When man is totally reigned by animal instincts he gives up morality. No more brakes on rules of society. So that is when people get drunk, abusive, have a lack of compassion, etc. Just as examples...

Sulis
23-09-2006, 03:14
He lacks civilization. When man is totally reigned by animal instincts he gives up morality. No more brakes on rules of society. So that is when people get drunk, abusive, have a lack of compassion, etc. Just as examples...

I like that :)

Thanks Dwaas... I have trouble with cards like this one too (even though I haven't even seen this one yet - it's on it's way to me in the post).

Another thing is to remember that The Horned God is a party animal... Pan or Cernunnos rules over animal sexuality as well as frollicks and fun.
He's a guy of excesses and he doesn't see them as a bad thing (and they're not always bad).
And he loves to get it on with all those nymphs :)

Dwaas
23-09-2006, 03:16
if you want that kind of reading use another deck with a typical Devil card.

In all respect, and maybe it is my sensitivity but this is imo not a very constructive answer to a sincere question. This is a study group and if we already know all answers there is no need for this group.
I find it a difficult card as well, but I can see with some extra effort the Judeo-Christian and other meanings as well. Now it is up to us to explain how we do that. I tried in the former post.
Blessings

Dwaas
23-09-2006, 03:17
A party animal! Brilliant! :D

LixiPixi
23-09-2006, 05:15
I dont see anything "evil" here, so it's hard to read it as such. He loves animals, he's on his own.. he's more like the Hermit. Or "High Priest" (as he is in the Druidcraft, am I right?).

I have to agree with that one - I see the Hermit in him as well.

So, very confusing. How am I going to know, when I do a reading and he shows up, that this represents bondage, addictions, obsessions, etc??

I don't think he does, nor is he supposed to represent those things in general. However, I would assume that if the surrounding cards, or maybe even the placement of this one, indicates the possibility of such things like oppression, starvation, cruelty (things that may be inflicted on an animal) then that's when the interpretation of the more traditional devil comes in. Now I've read this in the book several times, but it wasn't until responding to you that it actually sunk in for me. Thanks, sunflowr! :D I hope it helped you too!

LP~

Barbaras Ahajusts
23-09-2006, 05:49
This is cropped so you can see it a bit clearer.

I wanted to post this picture before I finished reading up on it. I want you to look into the mans eyes. The lurid grin, he sports.

Edited:
I wanted to do a couple of quotes from the book, but can't remember the rules, so here it is in my words.
Unless surrounding cards suggest a negitive read, then look at this card as a free spirit. All natural. Move over Parkay Butter! ;)

Barb

Baroli
23-09-2006, 06:17
Ihave this deck, and he reminds me of "the green Man" that keeps appearing in my dreams, sans the rack on his head. Now I see this guy as part of the bigger picture of the universe. I don't see anything evil, or "devilish" about him, he is part of, to me, the spirit of nature. We always talk of mother nature, well how about this guy "the Horned one" as the connecting spirit of nature; a man/boy/animal spirit. Oh, now how about that. I managed to get a trinity working there. ;)

Baroli

Barbaras Ahajusts
23-09-2006, 10:44
We always talk of mother nature, well how about this guy "the Horned one" as the connecting spirit of nature; a man/boy/animal spirit. Oh, now how about that. I managed to get a trinity working there. Baroli

Oh sweety, thats the "Horney Trinity" that hooked up with Mother Nature! Thats why there is a part Stag and part tree behind him! Thats their son!

Shut up BA!!! ;)

Emily
05-10-2006, 22:50
I haven't got my deck (yet) so I'm going on the scan.

I like the addition of the fox to the picture - foxes can be cruel and tricky, if they get in a hen-house, they will kill every hen. But they are also very resourceful, lots of urban foxes live very comfortably in cities and towns.

This fox is alert and watching what is around him, even though he's lying down. It gives the element of possible deception to the card.

I really can't wait to get this deck. :)

Leo62
06-10-2006, 00:10
A fox? LOL, I thought that animal was a wolf! But looking at it again, I guess it could be either...

This is one of my favourite cards. The misty, slightly damp and gloomy atmosphere sums up the reality of Welsh weather for me. And I love the palpable sense of mystery and danger that both man and animal evoke. I look at this card and it's as if I'm creeping up on them both. The wolf (or fox) has just become aware of my presence, and looks me directly in the eye. The Herdsmen? Perhaps he knows I'm there...perhaps he doesn't...yet.

I don't quite buy Anna-Marie's characterisation of the Huntsman as some kind of proto-new age peaceful vegetarian.

I think her image - and even the rest of her explanantion in the book - sits rather at odds with that.

There's one phrase she uses that rings particularly true for me: that this card represents "the tension between order and chaos."

This is what makes the card so attractive - there is a tension as the man struggles with wildness and madness. He maintains his consciousness as a human being but immerses himself in the power of nature. It's a tricky balance to pull off. To me, it makes him both unpredictable and attractive. I think this is actually a pretty sexy card! But perhaps that's just me...lol.

This is a man attempting to embrace the entirety of being human and the entirety of nature - no mean feat. He is alone, yet he is never alone; for nature and the wilderness is his constant companion.

He kinda sums up the rugged landscape of North Wales to me; full of beauty and grandeur, but also harsh and potentially dangerous.

And are those tree branches behind his head or horns? Or both?

sharpchick
06-10-2006, 00:39
He embodies the earthiness that we all possess, and "civilized" people try to bury deeply, only willing to let surface when they have something they can blame it on. . . "I was drunk, stoned, upset, grief-stricken, etc.," rather than admitting to themselves that at times, we simply are what we are, warts and all.

He requires none of the external trappings of modern society to exist - he simply is, an innate part of creation and connected to all within. I think the imagery on the card shows us how deeply grounded to the earth he is and it calls to us to slow down and ground ourselves as well.

We make him complex because what he stands for is so simple in spirit that we feel there has to be more to it.

Leo62
06-10-2006, 01:18
He requires none of the external trappings of modern society to exist - he simply is, an innate part of creation and connected to all within. I think the imagery on the card shows us how deeply grounded to the earth he is and it calls to us to slow down and ground ourselves as well.

We make him complex because what he stands for is so simple in spirit that we feel there has to be more to it.

I disagree. I don't think he "simply is." He is not nature itself. As Anna-Marie makes clear in the book, he represents an archetypal encounter between human consciousness and the "simplicity" of nature. He sits in balance upon the earth, but he is not the earth itself. And this balance has been hard-won - Anna-Marie refers to the tale of Myrddin and his long struggle with madness - and the wisdom that emerges from that struggle.

This also ties the card to the more traditional tarot Devil, in the sense of confronting the dark, difficult, shadow (and animal) side of our natures.

For me, he represents a consciousness that is both aware of animal drives and desires but neither represses them or is ruled by them.

Sophie
06-10-2006, 03:31
In addition to what has been said already - and prompted by Leo's last post, with which I agree - I'd like to share a short reflection I've had on this card. I have only just received the deck - it was waiting for me as I got home. On the way home, I heard a fascinating programme on the radio, about neuroscience and ethics. There was a lot in it, but this item particularly struck me: in the past 10-15 years, and thanks to neuro-imaging (MRIs and the like), it has become possible to show what many had intuitively grasped before: that emotions play a crucial role in creating consciousness. In particular, emotions (not feelings, I mean emotional reactions such as shivering or increased heartbeat, etc.), precede ethics and social behaviour, and are a necessary condition for ethical behaviour and socialisation. Emotions are situated mainly in the frontal lobe, and when it is impaired, patients lose the capacity to make moral and ethical choices. They can still reason - but they no longer have a "conscience". The frontal lobe is one of the oldest parts of the brain - it was formed long before humans were humans, when our forebears were still animals - and it has evolved very little. But the rest of the brain - in particular the larger part capable of reasoning and invention, evolved later and is still evolving. Reasoning can only become ethical choice after the emotions have played their role and triggered a feeling - pity, anger, indignation, etc. - at which point reasoning builds a moral structure on the foundations of the emotions.

When I took out the deck and looked at the card, it occurred to me that here was an image of the original emotion that precedes moral choice and socialisation, but is a necessary condition for them. The Wild Hersdman is all emotion - his heartbeat will increase or he will start shivering and that guides him immediately in a direct reaction. He is at a stage of proto-ethics, if you like, before reasoning has taken hold of what is happening and built a moral and social structure, but he already acts morally, without reasoning - instinctively. That's how I understand "pre-civilisation".

The reason why such a creature would appear evil to a religion (Christianity) that puts such a high value on morals, is because he has not built a formal moral structure, and so his emotions very evidently rule him. More "evolved" human beings have fooled themselves that their ethics are based on reason, not on emotion...we know better now! The Wild Herdsman is our moral foundation and without him, we have no ethics and cannot make any moral choice. He is our shadow in as much as we fear the power of our emotions. Those who resist emotions are perhaps those who are truly bound and obsessed, in the sense the Devil card has in other decks. But those who accept the role of emotion and work with their emotions, and with the feelings these evoke, are more likely to make moral choices that are loving and useful - in fact, are truly ethical.

The Horned One is removed from the society of men and is often rejected by them, though he also fascinates - as though to show how we often reject and repress our emotions.

Leo62
06-10-2006, 05:25
He is at a stage of proto-ethics, if you like, before reasoning has taken hold of what is happening and built a moral and social structure, but he already acts morally, without reasoning - instinctively. That's how I understand "pre-civilisation".

Very interesting point, Helvetica, but I would go beyond even that. My reaction to this card is that this is someone much more evolved than that. To me, he represents the very process of how we attempt to deal with our desires, our shadow sides. He is the process of being authentically human, rather than just a collection of desire, emotions and urges. I think he represents a balance of both instinct and reason - and the path to that precious balance is through madness. He has been swallowed by The Beast and emerged the other side...at least that's how I see him!
I may be pushing the mythological boundaries here, but that's truly what I see when I look at this card :)

LixiPixi
06-10-2006, 05:54
Very interesting point, Helvetica, but I would go beyond even that. My reaction to this card is that this is someone much more evolved than that. To me, he represents the very process of how we attempt to deal with our desires, our shadow sides. He is the process of being authentically human, rather than just a collection of desire, emotions and urges. I think he represents a balance of both instinct and reason - and the path to that precious balance is through madness. He has been swallowed by The Beast and emerged the other side...at least that's how I see him!
I may be pushing the mythological boundaries here, but that's truly what I see when I look at this card :)

The madness in this card seems very prominent to me. I have to agree with Leo. I look at the Horned One sitting there with a shawl over himself, alone in the depths of the woods. You know if he uncovered himself, he would NOT be an attractive man.

I see him as someone who has been swallowed by the beast or cursed by the wicked witch so to speak. He's alone in the woods because everyone else in society fears him. His only friends now are the animals. They don't care what he looks like. Being part man and animal, he has the intelligence to be a leader. The animals follow and protect him, and in turn, he leads and protects them. I see it as a relationship of circumstance and he's making the best of it. I'll bet he's a very sad character - missing terribly the touch of another human being, the love and acceptance from society, and the companionship of a mate.

For me - it's a very sad card, really.

Leo62
06-10-2006, 21:45
He's alone in the woods because everyone else in society fears him. His only friends now are the animals. They don't care what he looks like. Being part man and animal, he has the intelligence to be a leader. The animals follow and protect him, and in turn, he leads and protects them. I see it as a relationship of circumstance and he's making the best of it. I'll bet he's a very sad character - missing terribly the touch of another human being, the love and acceptance from society, and the companionship of a mate.

Yes - that's it! He's an outsider figure - that's certainly how I feel about him. People fear him because of where he's been and what he knows - but he is a visionary. In a way, he's the archetypal shaman - living on the fringes, dicing with madness. Yes, it's lonely and sad, but it's also his calling. Funny, I'd never really thought of him as being sad, but the card does have a melancholic air. I like what you say about the animals seeing beyond the appearance and sensing what he truly is...and acting as his helpers and guides - another hallmark of the shaman.

Le Chat
09-10-2006, 13:47
I see The Horned One as nature in its purist form. Many parts and forms of nature are seen as, or we've been taught to believe is ugly. He hides his worldly ugliness, but is far more beautiful than any of us. Someone long ago thought his shape ugly, and we still believe it is. (The Devil, perhaps?). I believe this card is indicative of the statement "Walk in beauty," take the time to really look at something natural. Today, we have addictions to prevent us from walking in beauty. We are so searching for something that is totally "awesome." We've lost the ability to find it in nature. I believe The Horned One has found all he will ever need in this forest. Take a walk in his forest and remove the necessity of excess.

magenta
12-10-2006, 11:27
The reason why such a creature would appear evil to a religion (Christianity) that puts such a high value on morals, is because he has not built a formal moral structure, and so his emotions very evidently rule him. More "evolved" human beings have fooled themselves that their ethics are based on reason, not on emotion...we know better now! The Wild Herdsman is our moral foundation and without him, we have no ethics and cannot make any moral choice. He is our shadow in as much as we fear the power of our emotions. Those who resist emotions are perhaps those who are truly bound and obsessed, in the sense the Devil card has in other decks. But those who accept the role of emotion and work with their emotions, and with the feelings these evoke, are more likely to make moral choices that are loving and useful - in fact, are truly ethical.

The Horned One is removed from the society of men and is often rejected by them, though he also fascinates - as though to show how we often reject and repress our emotions.

beautifully said Helvetica....when I look at this card I see a being that is in touch with his instinct, free of social pressure or conditioning of any kind...he is a human that lives beyond and before any structure or beleif system has had the chance to reach, control, change him.
He is full of natural magnetism.

I actually love this card, and I am glad it stepped away from the traditional Devil one...never felt comfortable with that interpretation.

I see this Horned One as powerful, instinctual, hearthy, creative energy....just seething in that apparently passive sitting position.
You never know when your instinct will strike....and show you what is really going on inside of you, under of the layers of rules and adquired beleives.

xoxoox
magenta

Lleminawc
22-10-2006, 19:42
The madness in this card seems very prominent to me. I have to agree with Leo. I look at the Horned One sitting there with a shawl over himself, alone in the depths of the woods. You know if he uncovered himself, he would NOT be an attractive man.


If you want to see how he might look uncovered, check the equivalent card in Anna-Marie's Legend Arthurian deck. He appears as a cloven-footed Pan-like figure - or Devil-like according to Christian iconongraphy. The description of the card in her companion book A Keeper of Words connects the "primordial" essence of the image with some of the traditional themes of the Devil Card - "violence, controlling relationships, promiscuity, drug abuse".

One point where I might disagree with LixiPixi is that he's not shown as being entirely alone - the animals are his companions.

I must admit, when I saw this card my first thought was of Herne the Hunter in the old TV series Robin of Sherwood - anyone remember that?

Lleminawc
22-10-2006, 20:06
Ihave this deck, and he reminds me of "the green Man" that keeps appearing in my dreams, sans the rack on his head.
Baroli

That's an interesting connection: in the Matthews' Arthurian deck this card has the Green Knight from the medieval epic Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I'm starting to think it would be nice to have a comparative Celtic/Arthurian study group, though the logistics might be somewhat challenging.

Rosanne
22-10-2006, 20:56
I am awaiting this deck so was grateful for the scan- thank you.
Looking at the Horned One- do you not think he is waiting? maybe it is May and he awaits his love who is called the Goddess of Change. Maybe the sadness you feel when you look at this card- is the Horned God is sad- another whole year will pass before he shares love again. Maybe he echos that Pagan theme 'Love and do what thou will'. I believe he is also called the Lord of the Wild. That makes me think of excitement, power and storms; so there is both Joy and Pain here- much like lusty Satan. He also reminds me of Robin the Hood. Robin and his band could disappear with camoflage into the forest. Perhaps the Horned One warns us only to leave footprints and not be seen- We do not seem to hide ourselves well in the Natural World with our Rubbish and abuse. I think he also looks tired- we do not seem to learn much. Most of all I think he looks ancient- that shawl depicts this.~Rosanne

Ambrosia
09-09-2008, 11:42
I think this card is very apt, as he represents our instinctual, animal nature. I think we get very caught up with the idea that "the devil" is all about lust and evil and bondage. I for one dont even look at RWS type devil cards in that way. They are very christian and portray the devil as evil which I dont agree with anyway. To me, the horned one is a bit like the green man, or pan. There is nothing inherantly wrong or evil about this image. It is the christian church which has portrayed this image in that way and therefore a lot of images are coloured with that type of thinking. I think the artist has attempted to get back to the grass roots of this idea, and has done a wonderful job. We fear that which we dont understand and I feel this card portrays man stripped back to our most animal nature and I see nothing wrong with that. Like any card, this can be seen as negative or positive, as we must live in society, sometimes we must behave in a civilised fashion which would definately be related to the devil reversed. However there is nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasures of life either.

Firewind17
02-07-2009, 07:41
I got this deck several months ago and immediately loved this card. I kind of wanted to make homemade ones and switch all my devil cards in all my other decks.

Usually I read the devil card as something we are in bondage to, addiction takes many forms. My drug of choice is studying. Like drinking or pot, something done in moderation doesn't cause you harm normally. But for me it seems that addiction is about trying to escape the reality of life for whatever reason. For many that is drinking or drugging and for many it is keeping their head in a book or zoning out with television.

I've always hated the pictures of the devil card so when I read about the Horned One (months ago so I don't exactly remember what it said) the thing that stood out to me was that he watched over, took care of Nature.

My own immediate response to the card was to read it as being in touch with balance within and going with my Nature-al flow.

As a female and a feminist, I had absolutely no problems and was very happy to have a new male image in my tarot that was positive, strong, taking care of the world around him in a caring and responsible way. It seems to me that this guy is about maintaining the Nature-al balance of the natural world so to extend that when he shows up to " am I taking good care of my body? Is my entire biosystem working in a naturally smooth way?" I sort of
become him, responsible for protecting and maintaining my Nature-al flow and force and energy.

Anyway, just wanted to throw in my take on my favorite card of this deck.